Recently it was determined that the CEO of Yahoo had “bent the truth” regarding his educational background. Mr. Scott Thompson claimed to receive a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and computer science from Stonehill College. Researchers looking into his background determined that Mr. Thompson had only received a degree in accounting; he never received a degree in computer science.
Now Mr. Thompson’s lie is causing Yahoo major headaches. For years, biographical statements have been published about Thompson that contains this fraudulent information. Even his bio on Yahoo’s website claims that he has received a degree in computer science. Yahoo initially dismissed the rumors about Mr. Thompson’s false credentials, calling the reference to him holding a computer science degree an “inadvertent error”.
This seems highly implausible; there are references to Mr. Thompson’s computer science degree featured in numerous pieces of marketing material and in his biographies on websites such as PayPal and eBay (where he previously served as president).
Yahoo has finally admitted the truth: Yahoo is currently deleting all references to Thompson’s computer science degree from his official biography on their website, and issued the following statement: “This in no way alters the fact that Mr. Thompson is a highly qualified executive with a successful track record leading large consumer technology companies”.
If the HR department at Yahoo had simply conducted education verification prior to appointing Mr. Thompson, they would realized that he didn’t have the credentials he claimed and could have avoided this PR nightmare. It should be noted that Mr. Thompson resigned from Yahoo on Sunday, May 13th 2012.